November 15, 2017

How to Make the Right Small Talk for Your Salon or Barbershop

Cosmetologist and client making small talk and selfies

Do you consider your hair stylist or barber a friend? Or even a close confidant? Chances are you said yes to one of these questions. Although a salon and a barbershop are two very different places you, the people who run them have a common goal:  to keep the atmosphere friendly and welcoming. And they often do that with some good conversation. If you’re building your own clientele, here’s how to create the right kind of small talk:


First and foremost know your clients! What’s funny to one may not be to another. Cater to the person in the chair. Beyond that, here are some basics:


  • Be respectful
  • Don’t ever use profanity
  • Listen more. Talk Less.

What to Say/ What not to Say

Talk about fashion and style and of course hair styles! You can bring up what looks good on Hollywood celebs, even get in on the latest star gossip. But don’t talk politics or religion or any hot button issues of the day. You don’t want to lose a client because they don’t like what you say.

Give Genuine Compliments/Critiques

The better you know your clients the better the conversation. Offer genuine compliments when appropriate. It’s also okay to give some honest feedback if you think a look they want just won’t look good on them. Gently remind them that it’s your job to find super styles that will accentuate their fabulous features. See how we did that?



We get it, boys will be boys and the language may be a little more upfront, but you have to cosider who your client is and what your relationship is like before you say something that could make them feel uncomfortable.


  • Be respectful
  • Tone down the language
  • Evaluate what you say based on who you’re saying it to

What to Say/What not to Say

Sports are pretty safe—even if you don’t root for the same team. But you can also speak to guy styles and girls, what’s in and what’s not. Touch upon news, but avoid the same kinds of hot button issues you do with the in-laws. No politics, religion, or divisive issues that will leave clients stressed out instead of mellowed out.

Give Genuine Compliments/Criticisms

It is important to listen to what your customer wants, but if you feel as though a style he chose may not look good it’s ok to let him know. Instead of saying that won’t look good on you dude, tell him what you think would look better.

Whether you’re in a salon, a barbershop, or a spa, what you say—and don’t say—to your clients matters. Be open and honest and careful. Your job is to make them feel and look their beautiful best, in a stress-free and comfortable atmosphere.

If you’ve always dreamed of becoming a barber or a hair stylist what are you waiting for? Salon Success Academy’s Barbering and Cosmetology programs will provide you with the training you need to become a great barber or stylist and also get you ready for the State Board exam. To get started, fill out the form now.



Comments are closed.